Category Archives: Health care reform

GOP health care bill passes House but there’s more to the story

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo by Sean Stayte via flickr.

While the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to finally “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, the story is far from over. (By the way, this bill actually doesn’t repeal anything.)

The measure got through the House with a 217-213 vote, as all voting Democrats and 20 mostly moderate Republican holdouts voted no.

The bill goes to the Senate, where legislators are already saying changes will be necessary – changes will mean that both houses will need to resolve differences before the bill heads to President Trump’s desk. Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panel explores ongoing quest for reliable measures of hospital quality

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

Health reporters should be asking the hospitals they cover plenty of in-depth questions about their star ratings and other collected quality measures. But they should not assume that those measures reflect the hospital’s true performance.

That was the takeaway from an engaging panel on hospital quality measures held at AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2017 conference in Orlando. Continue reading

Experienced freelancers provide valuable tips, advice

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEmily Gurnon, an editor with PBS Next Avenue, urges attendees to do research on the publications they pitch to. Michele Cohen Marill (right), an independent journalist in Atlanta, moderated the session.

Ah, the freelance life. Sleeping until noon. Working in your pajamas. Picking and choosing just the right assignments that appeal to and massage your fragile ego…

NOT!

As anyone who has done it can attest, being a freelance journalist is hard. And complicated. And just like staff jobs, there are rules, protocols, and methodologies to follow. Continue reading

#AHCJ17 panelists wrestle with the unintended consequences of complying with MACRA  

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia ChristensenRandi Terry (left), of Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., explains some of the difficulties of complying with MACRA and getting clarification from CMS on the rules.

Any legislation is bound to have unforeseen outcomes, and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 is no exception, according to two members of a panel discussion on MACRA at Health Journalism 2017.

Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, and Randi Terry, director of information services for Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich., described some of those unintended consequences. Continue reading

What’s next for drug costs? #AHCJ17 hears from the experts – including a patient

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

President Donald Trump has spoken about the cost of drugs frequently. Though not always clearly and consistently, he has called for government negotiation of prices. Drug prices also have caught Congress’s eye, although we’re not quite sure what (if anything) legislators are willing to do about it.

But patients are fed up, as David Mitchell, founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs reminded us last week during a Health Journalism 2017 session in Orlando. Continue reading